15.5 C
May 24, 2022

This week’s movies opening on screens

Toy Story 3, (USA 2010)

Directed by: Lee Unkrich

With: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

Showing at: The Light Cinema, Cityplex, Samsung IMAX, Cinema City Sun Plaza, Cinema City Cotroceni, Cinema City Cotroceni VIP

The multi- award winning Pixar& Disney have done it again, and in a very big way, establishing themselves again as world leaders in animated storytelling. Ever since the release of 1995’s “Toy Story” , the studio has topped itself with each passing film. Now comes their 1atest animated feature, “Toy Story 3,” which is not only the best “Toy Story” of them all but it also continues Pixar’s extraordinary capacity for telling strong, clever and exciting stories that are filled with humour, heart and, most of all, imagination. Eleven years after the action in Toy Story 2, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen) and the rest of Andy’s beloved toys are fretting about the boy’s having grown up. Andy, preparing to leave for college, is cleaning out his room. Woody, Buzz and the rest end up donated to a day-care centre, where manic toddlers smash them against walls and find out how far they’ll stretch and bend. The movie essentially becomes a prison-break picture.

The third instalment also introduces several other new characters, even a beat-up baby doll with a droopy eye that the movie occasionally uses to strike a note of fun, cartoonish horror. A surprising darkness lurks beneath the bright colours and vivid 3D animation – this is really a story about aging and death – although the subtexts are subtle, and young viewers won’t be disturbed. In fact, this film looks very deeply at profound themes that some might argue, are not for kids. Toy Story 3 literally looks mortality in the face in a way that manages to be not only superbly put to screen but endearing and unforgettable. Unlike most sequels, not a moment of this film feels artificial, everything culminates in a life-or-death scenario for the toys that is more heartfelt and genuine than most live-action films.

It’s astonishing how the creative team at Pixar can make you forget that what you’re watching is all a bunch of digital wizardry. Toy Story 3 is an immersive experience, the rare kind of film that, were it a human being, would be your best friend.

The Back-Up Plan, (USA 2010)

Directed by: Alan Poul

With: Jennifer Lopez, Alex O’Loughlin

Showing at: Movieplex Cinema Plaza, The Light Cinema, Hollywood Multiplex, CinemaPRO, Cinema City Sun Plaza

This was supposed to be Jennifer Lopez’ s return to the screen. Remember? An actress that looked promising in Steven Soderbergh movie “Out of Sight” or in “Selena”. What happened to her, you might wonder… Well, she became JLo, a product rather a human being. And she does not honour in any way the screen. Like many so-called chick flicks, The Back-Up Plan is actually an insult to female audiences. The formula is always the same: gorgeous actress plays loveless loser, meets cute guy, gets married and/or has baby in the last ten minutes. After all, the only things women care about are cute guys, weddings, and babies, right? In this case, the dateless loser is Zoe, a pet store owner who hears her biological clock ticking like Big Ben.

Afraid that she’ll never meet the right man in time to have children, she decides to get artificially inseminated. On the day she learns that she is, in fact, pregnant, she not-so-coincidentally meets Stan (Alex O’Loughlin), a.k.a. Mr. Right ( the job of the character is so hilarious that I will not disclose it). Worried about his reaction to dating a woman who has been impregnated by an anonymous guy’s sperm, Zoe has to figure out how and when to tell him. The rest is…well, one and a half hour of pure bore. You can probably figure out the rest of the drill from here. Everything goes exactly as you think it will.

In fact, there’s no genuine human emotion in the story, just a lot of painfully contrived romantic comedy clichés that could have very well been executed by robots.

Lopez and O’Loughlin have zero chemistry together which adds to the ridiculous feel of the entire film. Now, seriously, for all you female readers out there, don’t you think we have had enough of no-brainer rom-coms? They tend to be more and more numerous and they tend to cater only to retards or to an alien race that might happen on earth and discover cinema. The Back-Up Plan is stupid and lazy, with no laughs and no romance.

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